Why Instagram Isn’t Interested in Your Links

/ Jul 22, 2014


By Lauren Arevalo-Downes

Unlike nearly every other social site, the particular frustration of interacting as a brand on Instagram is that you cannot put a link in your post. At best, you can hope that your followers will jump through the hoop of going to your profile page to click on a link placed there.

Recently a piece in Digiday, appropriately titled “Instagram’s War Against the Click,” spoke about how The Onion’s recently launched mock-BuzzFeed site, ClickHole, has been using Instagram as a way to direct traffic to the site this way, updating their Instagram profile’s main link with each post. Whether or not this is ClickHole’s satirical commentary on the inefficiency of such tactics or a component of their actual traffic strategy is hard to discern.

Social sites like Facebook and Twitter have taught us to think of social media as a way to direct traffic to other sites. It does this effectively, but as we proceed into a mobile-first world, there is a clumsy segue from app-to-web. The fact of the matter is those on Instagram aren’t there to be hounded by brands to click on links to open to mobile web browsers. Instagram knows this and has no plans to implement external links anytime soon.

We are seeing a rise in the popularity of self-contained apps. With marketers increasingly interested in how to leverage brand advocates on platforms like Snapchat, Whisper and so forth, how best do you utilize these apps, knowing full well that they aren’t traffic drivers or even more difficult, an unquantifiable “dark social”app?

“Instagram isn’t going to make the mistake of most digital advertising and be hostage to the click because there are no clicks to count. Rather, Instagram wants its ads to be the kind of upper-funnel brand images consumers would typically find in a Condé Nast glossy,” said Digiday’s John McDermott.

As Instagram is courting brands now, marketers must be seeing the value of Instagram as an upper-funnel or at least testing its waters. With high rates of engagement, perhaps one can eschew a link after all.

What do you think?

This article was originally published on alistdaily.com, the insiders’ source for editorial focused on entertainment marketing news, and content partner with VideoInk. Follow them on Twitter @alistdaily or subscribe for the latest news, data and more in your inbox.

How do you get an influencer’s audience to advocate your brand? [a]list summit: Influencer Marketing is coming up on July 31st in Los Angeles. Meet, share, and shape the future of marketing. Get more information about [a]list summit here.


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